The wellness world is obsessed with detoxes – detox teas, detox diets, detox face masks, detox scrubs – so it was only a matter of time before the armpit detox craze took over the internet. Editors, YouTubers, influencers, and natural living enthusiasts the world over have been slathering their pits with green sludge-like masks in the name of sweating less and smelling better. And yet, not a lot of people in the Middle East seem to have jumped on the bandwagon – is acknowledging that women sweat still considered taboo? In a city where temperatures hover above 40ºC on a daily basis every August, we figured it was time to talk armpits.
This trending treatment is essentially about transitioning from antiperspirant to natural deodorant with the help of a DIY mask that contains bentonite clay and apple cider vinegar. For the uninitiated, ‘antiperspirant’ and ‘deodorant’ are not interchangeable terms. The former is designed to stop you from sweating – hence the name – through the use of aluminium, which physically blocks sweat from coming out of your pores. In contrast, deodorants prevent odour by targeting bacteria and/or masking it with fragrance.
Anyone seeking a more wholesome lifestyle should give it a try, especially as an armpit detox will speed up the transitory phase of sweating and stinking more when switching from traditional antiperspirants to natural deodorants. And there’s plenty of reasons to make the switch. For starters, conventional antiperspirants often contain ingredients like aluminium, fragrance, parabens, and phthalates – all nasty and harmful in their own way. Furthermore, anyone who feels like their armpits stink (it’s okay, it happens!) or their deodorant isn’t working as well can benefit from a detox.
First and foremost, it eliminates odour – apple cider vinegar has antibacterial properties and can therefore eliminate odour-causing bacteria. It is also believed to bring the natural bacteria that live on the skin back into a balanced state, thereby curbing odour and creating a more natural scent. An armpit detox removes the toxins that build up over the course of antiperspirant use, courtesy of bentonite clay. Drawing out impurities will give the area a break, increasing the effectiveness of natural deodorant in the process. Even better? You may also notice that any skin irritation caused by antiperspirant ingredients is soothed, especially as conventional antiperspirants dry the skin in an effort to reduce sweating. Bonus: armpit detoxes are easy, inexpensive, and take next to no time.
Simply mix a tablespoon of bentonite clay with a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar and enough water (roughly one to two teaspoons) to form a mixture that’s not too thick, but not too runny either – you want to reach the consistency of sour cream. Avoid using a metal bowl and/or spoon. Next, evenly spread the mask on your armpits for 5-20 minutes, sticking to the lower end of the spectrum if it’s your first time. Allow the mixture to dry before washing it off in the shower or with a wet washcloth. For best results, repeat this process weekly or biweekly for a month. And like any other skincare product, discontinue use if any irritation occurs. Happy detoxing!
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